Thick Skin Necessary

After a few weeks of regular blogging, I am not sure if my style has really changed all that much. I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing, as my understanding of this form of writing is still essentially the same as it was at the commencement of this class. While Andrew Sullivan’s provided me with the challenges of blogging, mainly the high octane nature of the art, it really didn’t cause me to reevaluate the reasons as to why I blog. Although, the more that I invest into blogging, the more I respect those who are able to do this for a living. Obviously I respect the tremendous amount of work that goes into constantly finding the latest story, but the level of scrutiny that bloggers are constantly under is borderline ridiculous. As a blogger, one must be comfortable and confident enough in their product to withstand the constant onslaught of negative commentary that inherently comes along with a post. Even more astonishing is that these bloggers must actually consider these comments and respond to them. As Sullivan says, ignoring errors or mistakes will inevitably lead to readers abandoning the site and moving on to a competitor.

In my opinion, the biggest difference between blogging and more traditional forms of writing is this aforementioned ability to accept and respond to criticism on a constant basis. This seems especially difficult because the more one considers other people’s thoughts and adjusts accordingly, the less personal their writing will ultimately seem. It is also without a doubt a sore point with writers as there is always a sense of egoism in one’s work, as George Orwell mentioned.

I think that the main reason that these challenges are not seen in other forms of writing, is because the audience is generally much smaller. The essay that I have chosen to repurpose can be considered academic, and one that was really directed solely at convincing my GSI of my argument. There were many specific details that were not included in my work, because I knew she had extensive background knowledge on the subject. So, the biggest challenge that I face will be to able to provide the necessary background information without either making the reader feel unintelligent or bore them to death. I will also attempt to write this in a manner where individuals who are not necessarily interested in politics, will be intrigued with my argument. All of these are somewhat daunting tasks, but I think that if I am successful, my skills as a writer will be much more well rounded, subsequently giving me more confidence.

One thought to “Thick Skin Necessary”

  1. I appreciate the visual stimuli you provided in this post. It depicts one of the greatest troubles I have with blogging. You mention how it is difficult to be receptive of criticism while maintaining a sense of authenticity with your thoughts. This is certainly an issue which requires “thick skin” to deal with. I think having thick skin is characteristic of all bloggers because without it, one will likely succumb criticism from their audience. Bloggers without thick skin will likely allow their critics to re-shape their thoughts on their subject matter. I don’t know how to deal with the mass criticism bloggers are faced with, but I am pretty sure they shouldn’t allow the criticism they’ll encounter to adequately alter their thoughts.

    Your assertion concerning the challenges a blogger faces that a writer who writes for a different purpose is quite interesting. Typically, when we are writing for academic purposes, we are writing to appease our professors or GSIs. However, bloggers aren’t writing to appease anyone in particular like a professor or GSI, they are writing for personal purposes. In a way, I think bloggers are tantamount to politicians. They both have to express their unique opinions to an audience full of critics in a constructive way while avoiding boredom. Neither politicians nor bloggers can succumb to the criticism of their skeptics if they have aspirations to be noteworthy in their respective crafts. Confidence is key in both of these professions because if a blogger or a politician allows himself or herself to fall victim to their critics it shows weakness, and most people frown upon weakness. Although I have provided very limited justification as to how I think these two crafts are intertwined, do you see any similarities between bloggers and politicians?

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